Leave To Remain, film review: Downbeat subject matter lifted by humour and lyricism

(15) Bruce Goodison, 89 mins Starring: Toby Jones, Noof Ousellam, Yasmin Mwanza
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The Independent Culture

Thousands of teenage migrants arrive alone in the UK every year, Bruce Goodison's film tells us. Only one in 10 are granted refugee status.

The film explores the plight of a group of unaccompanied teen asylum seekers. Their chances of convincing often openly hostile authorities that their claims are genuine hinge on their ability to tell the right story.

There's a very moving performance from Masieh Zarrien as a taciturn Afghan boy who knows dark secrets about a fellow asylum seeker.

Toby Jones plays the English teacher who looks after the kids and stands up for them.

The subject matter is downbeat but Goodison, helped by a likeable young cast, brings moments of humour and lyricism to the storytelling.